Tuesday Reads 12/10

Facebook Ad Policies Hurt LGBTQ Patients

For months, I have been inundated with misleading ads about the dangers of HIV prevention medications (PrEP). Fortunately, I know they aren't true, but I regularly hear from excellent candidates for the medication that they'd never take something so dangerous.

As a reminder, Facebook regularly denies PrEP advocacy campaigns, but not misleading campaigns intended to scare users and collect emails. The ugly truth about these ads is they are likely sensational just to capture emails and build lists for future ad targeting.

52 LGBTQ Activists say Facebook puts patients at risk

This week, activists finally had enough and raised the alarm on Facebook's convenient ambivilence to the harm they are causing.

Facebook is by far the worst actor when it comes to ignoring the way their products are being used to exploit and harm their own users, but it's prevelant in technology. "Move fast and break things" only seems to work out well for the people breaking things.

The rest of us are either directly harmed, or left to try and pick up the pieces. PrEP disinformation, anti-vaxxer campaigns, celebrating violence against women, white nationalism - these are all interlinked in that they've flourished in the age of Facebook, as has Mark Zuckerberg's wealth.

We cannot ignore the other fights for health access if we want to see parity in sexual healthcare. This week, there have been three different attacks on health access that we want to highlight.

700,000 to lose food assistance benefits

The Trump administration forced through work-requirements for food assistance, even though many people covered are already limited to receiving benefits for 3 months in a 36 months span.

Supreme Court upholds abortion restriction

The anti-choice movement tallied a win against women's health. Kentucky law requires an invasive ultrasound before administering an abortion. The Supreme Court declined to hear an appeal.

Obamacare on the line

Once again, Republicans are trying to blow up the ACA, this time via the courts. The ACA is hugely important in expanding STI testing coverage, and yet again that is coming under attack.

We never see a fight to reduce subsidies to Monsanto, to restrict insurance coverage of Viagra, or to curtail universal coverage for US Senators. At best, these attacks on health rights are born out of ignorance, at worst, they're meant to be punitive.

In the US Senate, there is one lesbian and one bisexual Senator. There are three African-American Senators. There are twenty five female Senators. This is deeply unrepresentative of the American population.

Representation matters.


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